I had been out of school for a while when I went to Medical School, and boy did that make things tough.

To do well in classes, you only need to learn enough moronics mnemonics to last you through the class.  When I studied, I really tried to commit this stuff to PERMANENT memory.  I was dazzled by the HUGE amount of information you have to know to be a doctor.  That’s one of the the things that delayed my going to medical school.  I didn’t think I was smart enough.

You actually don’t have to remember this shit after the last examination, except for the NBME boards I and II.  I lost out on a TERRIBLE amount of fun, not from trying to be an ace-brownie student, but to REMEMBER all this stuff.

That’s why I became an internist.  I thought you had to be responsible for knowing ALL this stuff for ALL these specialties – not just IM specialties, but just about all of them, down to the details.  I didn’t train how to read MRI’s but I felt responsible for knowing the anatomy of EVERYTHING.  The arteries in the head.  The PCA.  Permanently.

A long time after medical school, I had a lady who blacked out when she looked up, so she didn’t tilt her head upwards, just rolled her eyes.  So I remembered, ah!  subclavian steal syndrome, and asked for a left subclavian ultrasound.  The vascular lab sent it back – this is a specialty test.  I reconsulted, saying – “duh, she blacks out when she turns her head up, what ELSE could give you syncope and a chest bruit?”  That’s left over from YEARS ago.  I could have risen a LOT higher on the medical totem pole if I hadn’t misspent so much time in medical school.

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